The holiday-shortened week opened on Tuesday with a moderate gain on positive economic news from China, Germany, and the US that indicates that an economic recovery appears to be progressing, albeit at a slow rate. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose above the 1300 level for the first time since July, as investors cheered a rise in confidence among home builders. Stocks made it three-for-three on Thursday after news that weekly initial jobless claims dropped to their lowest levels since 2008 was released. On Friday, mixed earnings reports led to an advance in the Dow but a flat session for the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ.

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